Issue 397 | The Sun Magazine

January 2009

Readers Write

Saying Yes

Paying bail, heating up waffles, joining the U.S. Marine Corps

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

excerpted from
Man’s Search For Meaning

In spite of all the enforced physical and mental primitiveness of life in a concentration camp, it was possible for spiritual life to deepen.

By Viktor Frankl
Sy Safransky's Notebook

January 2009

When the river of truth rises, when it washes over the sandbags I’ve placed around my life — for my own protection, of course — do I grieve or rejoice?

By Sy Safransky


Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.

Karl Roberts, age five

The Sun Interview

A Mindful Marriage

Kittisaro And Thanissara On Celibacy, Sex, And Lasting Love

Being outside of the monastic community gives us the freedom to offer interfaith workshops and to include practices from other traditions. Also, because we, as a married couple, experience challenges that one doesn’t experience in the monastery, we have more empathy for the struggles of our lay students. We all need to work on those sharp edges that come up, especially in marriage, and to be more patient, gentle, and compassionate with each other.

By Leslee Goodman
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Happiest Day Of Someone Else’s Life

Love, they say, can move mountains. Less romantically, love has also been known to move mountains of crap. My college friend Logan and his mountain of crap arrived in New York City from Boston in a twenty-three-foot U-Haul truck, complete with the same six wooden peach crates of aging vinyl I had helped him pack and unpack at least three times through the years.

By Andrew Boyd
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Baggage: A Love Story

I have never understood those personal ads that specify the seeker is looking for a person with “no baggage.” What does that mean, exactly? Who hasn’t accumulated regrets and scars — not to mention a storage unit’s worth of junk — by middle age? Show me someone with no baggage, and I’ll show you someone who forgot to pack.

By Alison Luterman
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

I Am Not A Sex Goddess

Butt plug. Butt plug. I’ve been walking around muttering these two words to myself for days now, like a six-year-old experimenting with a new curse. (It even sounds like an insult: “You’re nothing but a dirty butt plug!”) I savor the way the words pop crisply from my lips: the hard t of butt and the guttural g of plug. Until a few days ago, I didn’t even know what one is.

By Lois Judson
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Since You Asked

Cary Tennis has been called the “Walt Whitman of advice columnists” by one of his regular readers. His daily column “Since You Asked” has been a hallmark of since 2001. Tennis offers frank and sometimes pointed advice, and he reveals his own struggles with refreshing candor. He is part spiritual advisor, part fellow flawed human, part friend who’ll give it to you straight. He can also craft a mean sentence.

By Cary Tennis

Morning Coffee

He was bringing coffee in five minutes, at 6:30. She’d been awake for an hour and now sat on the hardwood floor, blowing smoke into the fireplace so her kids wouldn’t smell it. She’d picked up her cigarette habit again since his last episode, the one that had led to his moving out.

By Jessica Halliday


All you know is how sunny it was — so bright you could hardly see — and how the old man kept trying to tip you back into the stream, the water electric and cold, old Mr. Griswald saying not to worry, his hands on your shoulders, him standing in the water behind you, you this little kid, nine or ten years old, that voice of his strange and far above, saying not to worry, saying just lie back, saying he has you, he has you.

By William Lychack